Morning in the Burned House

Margaret Atwood, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-75591-4
In her first poetry collection since 1987's Selected Poems II, Atwood brings a swift, powerful energy to meditative poems that often begin in domestic settings and then broaden into numinous dialogues. In ``In the Secular Night,'' the speaker, who has wandered through her house talking to herself of the ``sensed absences of God,'' realizes ``Several hundred years ago/this could have been mysticism/ or heresy. It isn't now.'' In five roughly thematic sections, Atwood often displays incisive humor (``Ava Gardner Reincarnated as a Magnolia''). The most vivid poems forge an apprehensible human aspect from scholarly fields of science, history and religion: in ``Half-hanged Mary'' a woman who was being hanged for witchery, survives and tolls each hour until she is cut down. The final grouping seems compiled from the charred remains of a deeply examined life, where only ``the power of what is not there'' may transcend. Atwood's lean, free-verse style renders these apocryphal poems intimate and immediate. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1995
Release date: 10/01/1995
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.